Council keeps wary eye on Western Bay water use

A water conservation sign in the Western Bay of Plenty. Supplied photo.

Water use over summer will be carefully watched by Western Bay of Plenty District Council to ensure there is enough for everyone if drought conditions prevail.

Last summer, Council was forced to introduce strict water use restrictions (hand-held hoses only) in some parts of the District as reservoirs dropped under the required minimum level for daily demand.

Council’s Utilities Manager Kelvin Hill says NIWA has advised that a hot and humid summer is forecast, so Council’s team will be keeping a watchful eye on the District’s water use - as will most councils across the country, due to the low winter rainfall.

The La Nina weather pattern this year is anticipated to bring warmer, more humid and hotter temperatures during summer.

Council’s drinking water is sourced from deep underground aquifers in three water zones: Western Zone (Waihi Beach and Katikati), Central Zone (Omokoroa, Te Puna and Minden) and Eastern Zone (Te Puke, Maketu).

Signage to monitoring water levels in Council’s reservoirs have been put at the entrances to Waihi Beach, Athenree, Maketu, Omokoroa and Te Puke and will serve as a reminder over summer to be careful with water use and conserve wherever possible.

Reservoirs must maintain a constant 50 percent minimum water level to meet the daily demands for drinking water.

“Every year we have more holidaymakers here and we are expecting even more this year in light of COVID-19 overseas travel restrictions,” says Kelvin.

“We consistently promote a strong `conserve’ water message and I believe that people generally have a greater understanding of the importance of careful water use.

"We hope that by getting the message out early this year about the possibility of a drier summer, our residents will do their bit to conserve water and we will avoid bringing in restrictions.

“Water is a precious resource that we need to value and use efficiently.”

Some simple ways to reduce water consumption over summer are:

  •   •  A quick shower (max four minutes)

  •   •  Instead of letting the shower water pour down the drain while you wait for it to warm up, capture the water in a bucket. Then use the water for flushing the toilet or watering your plants.

  •   •  Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth.

  •   •  Use a bucket of water to wash your car.

  •   •  Turn off the tap while washing your hands.

  •   •  If it’s yellow, let it mellow. Do you need to flush every time?

  •   •  Fix your leaks. Dripping taps and little leaks waste a lot of water.

  •   •  Keep water in a covered container in the fridge. It saves running the tap to get cold water.

  •   •  Water the garden in the cool of the morning or evening.

  •   •  Let your lawn grow a little longer. It will stay greener and need less watering.

  •   •  Use a bowl to scrub vegetables in the kitchen sink. Put the used water on the lawn.

To find out more about how to conserve water visit:

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As I have said and done for years -

Posted on 24-11-2020 22:41 | By The Caveman

since water meters were installed. Add a couple of LARGE water tanks to your section, collect the water off your roof, turn off the mains feeds to your toilets cisterns and connect the water tanks into your toilets!!! Cut one of your biggest water meter costs (and use less council water) ! !

@The Professor

Posted on 24-11-2020 11:31 | By morepork

I’m surprised that, given the track record, you would expect the Council to behave with intelligent forethought. Funny how most of us can see what is obvious but somehow, they can’t. If the drought starts to bite and it comes to rationing, THEN they’ll look at what should have been done. Maybe we can all help them out by peeing on the lawn instead of letting the yellow mellow... You’d probably end up with a yellow lawn... never mind, change your mind about liking green or practicing basic hygiene. Or maybe, change the Council.

Collect It

Posted on 24-11-2020 09:11 | By beefhooked

Spot on "The Professor". "If it’s yellow, let it mellow. Do you need to flush every time"? Yes, I do need to flush every time. I have installed 2 large drums to collect rain water off my garage for the garden and I don’t waste our precious water. When and if these drums are empty I will be using the hose to keep my garden plants alive - restrictions or not. The amount of water left to run off out to sea and not collected is just plain stupidity.

Well durrr....

Posted on 23-11-2020 15:30 | By

Maybe the Council should stop issuing consents to allow further building in the region UNTIL the infrastructure is in place....e.g larger water supplies. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that water shortages are going to get worse each month or year when more people move to our region.